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This year Disneyland Resorts is offering even more spooktacular fun during Halloween Time. It's one of my favorite times to visit the park because I love a good villain spotting and it's the one time a year you're sure to see them all. Now until Halloween night you can see Cruella, The Wicked Queen, Captain Hook, Jafar, and Ursula, they're all there. 9a91daeb-aa70-4084-a0f1-f8dec481dcab

There are lots of special things going on in the park for Halloween Time, let's see if I can get them all: over 300 jack-o-lanterns; an area that celebrates Dia de los Muertos; Space Mountain turns into Ghost Galaxy; and, of course, Jack Skellington transformations the Haunted Mansion into a "nightmare."

Even the windows of the shops are filled with orange and black Halloween decor (see the Whrrl below for photos). I don't remember Disneyland ever going this all-out for Halloween Time.

Maybe it's because for the first time in years Mickey's Halloween Party will be held in Disneyland (in the past few years it's been at Disney's California Adventure). Mickey's Party is a trick-or-treat shindig where families can dress up and prowl the park experiencing exclusive activities offered only at The Party. 

Here's what's included in Mickey's Halloween Party:

* "Halloween Screams" fireworks show. This is hands-down the best fireworks show I've ever seen. I captured it all on video last year, though a little shaky, I had to hold the camera the WHOLE show and take photos, I still think it gives you an idea of how amazing it is. Halloween Screams, Part One. Halloween Screams, Part Two

* Two Halloween Dance Parties. One in New Orleans Square's French Market hosted by Jack and Sally and one in Tomorrowland Terrance hosted by our favorite space ranger--Buzz Lightyear.

* Trick-or-treat candy stations throughout the park. (see photos below) Carla Carlyle, the Disneyland Show Director for Mickey's Halloween Party, assured me there are "a lot" more candy stations than there have been in the past. "Would you say 'twice as many?'" I asked her. "Just a whole lot more," she said with a smile. This is good news!

* Mickey's Character Cavalcade will run nightly and feature Disney characters all decked out in their Halloween Costumes.

* Special photo ops with Halloween-clad characters and those dastardly Disney Villains.

The party is only on Tuesday and Friday nights, staring Oct. 1 and ending Oct. 29th and then, naturally, on Halloween night.

The prices for Mickey's Halloween Party are as follows:

Online, advanced tickets: $49

Day of the event tickets: $54

Halloween night: $59

Again, this is a separately ticketed event, so even if you have an annual pass, you'll need to buy a ticket. You can go here to purchase your tickets.

I've packed the slideshow below with much more information--how to vote for your favorite Disney Villain, Special Halloween Treats, and photos galore! Happy Haunting!

More check-ins at Disneyland
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In 2008 I went to Mickey's Trick-or-Treat Party at California Adventure with my kids. Here the video from that night. It's a little dark and before I shot in HD, but I think it gives you an idea and also documents my distain for Candy Corn. Which is legendary.  Watch it here.



Disclosure: Bloggers are often provided with free products, services and "experiences" from companies for the purpose of testing and reviewing them in a blog post. Any product mentioned in the blog posts of ocfamily.com may have been offered at no cost to the blogger.

I don't get too fired up about many things, but if you've been reading my blog for awhile you know the trend of tramping-up our little girls really gets me ranting.

IMG_0238It's downright brazen the way some toy manufactures take the most innocent of childhood icons and activities and sexualizes them.  

It really burns me.

Take a look at this Dorothy Doll from "Wizard of Oz."  Am I wrong? Isn't "The Wizard of Oz" a children's story about a young girl's journey to get back home not a story of a Vegas escort service?  

I'm cloudy.  

This was in the toy aisle next to all the "special edition" Barbies at Target. My daughter picked it up and was clever enough to recognize Dorothy (who she adores) looked... "weird."

I looked up the Wizard of Oz Contemporary Dorothy Doll on Target's web site and here's the description...and, it's a good one:

  

Dorothy doll 

 
Six-years-old? Couture? Flirty blue-and-white checked mini dress?  Auntie Em would not approve.  Maybe to some this looks like not such a big deal.  But I'm telling you as a mom of a 9-year-old girl, it's becoming more and more prevalent. It's a fight now to keep our girls young and innocent, it's not the default any longer. 

I feel better now. Nothing like a good rant, an email of complaint to Target and a Little House on the Prairie bedtime story to make a mom feel better. 

Disclosure: Bloggers are often provided with free products, services and "experiences" from companies for the purpose of testing and reviewing them in a blog post. Any product mentioned in the blog posts of ocfamily.com may have been offered at no cost to the blogger.

Some things are just hard to write about.  I'm not embarrassed to talk about my infertility struggle. I'm not ashamed of it. It's just something I never talk about anymore since that part of my life has passed and, frankly, who wants to talk fallopian tubes and hormone injections unless you are absolutely forced to? 

That's the thing about facing infertility--you're forced into it.  You can't make your body do what you want, what other women's bodies seem to do with no effort at all. It's frustrating and leaves you feeling helpless and flawed.  

When choosing the topic of "Infertility Issues" for this weeks Vloggersations I knew it was going to be a tough one to tackle, but I was hoping that a few brave gals would volunteer to share their experience. Three did with the hope that by doing so, they would help other women who are going through infertility treatments or maybe just coming to the realization that it's an issue for them. I'm proud to be among such amazing women.  

Some of the things we talk about in this Vloggersation are: the feelings associated with not being able to conceive; what not to say to a women who is going through infertility issues; and the two of us who have it behind us now give our advice and perspective. 

Please take the time to watch this Vlog.  It's our most honest one yet. Even if having a baby has been a piece of cake for you, this is still something a co-worker, sister-in-law or maybe even your child someday will face. 


Disclosure: Bloggers are often provided with free products, services and "experiences" from companies for the purpose of testing and reviewing them in a blog post. Any product mentioned in the blog posts of ocfamily.com may have been offered at no cost to the blogger.

Peter Pan is coming to The Orange County Performing Arts Center Sept. 28th through Nov. 21st, but this is "not Disney's Peter Pan."  That's how  RobertIllustration by Steve Rawlings, Design by Feast Creative Butters (best last name ever), the show's producer, describes the adaptation of the original J M Barrie story. 

Peter Pan will play in a state-of-the-art "360-degree" theatre built especially for the show on the grass outside OCPAC beside the Renee and Henry  Segerstrom Concert Hall. 

He assures theatre-goers that "this is not just a children's story," that people of every age will love it, but warns that after his three-year-old son saw it, he refused to wear a shirt for weeks. 

You see this Peter Pan is far from the waify, feather hat sporting, carrot top we are accustom to seeing. This Peter Pan is...well...more manly and has a modern edge. In fact all the characters are set in the present time and the show uses cutting edge technology.

Puppets, video, flying actors and a fully-orchestrated soundtrack all help tell the story of the boy who never grew up in a completely fresh and modern adaptation. The "360 Theatre" has three-times the projection size of an IMAX theatre and the audience is completely surrounded by the sights and sounds of the Peter Pan story.   

Watch the video here from the London show.

 

Doesn't it look phenomenal? 

I'm going to see Peter Pan on Sept. 30th with my daughter and I have two family-four-packs to giveaway to two readers. Please leave a comment here and I will pick a winner on Thursday, Sept23rd at noon via Random.org. 

Jessie Flores and Bellakarma each won a four-pack of tickets! Cograts!

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The Lowdown

-- Peter Pan will play at The Orange County Performing Arts Center Sept. 28th through Nov. 21st.  

-- For the schedule of shows and to buy tickets, click here

-- Into Neverland is an added feature on weekend afternoons that offers a chance for the audience to get an exclusive opportunity to learn more about the history of Peter Pan, the 360-theatre and also an opportunity to learn more about the cast and producers. For tickets click here


Disclosure: Bloggers are often provided with free products, services and "experiences" from companies for the purpose of testing and reviewing them in a blog post. Any product mentioned in the blog posts of ocfamily.com may have been offered at no cost to the blogger.

Yep, I love a good Yankee Candle, but given my inability to follow the most basic fire safety rules and the budget restrictions heartlessly placed on me by my husband, I really shouldn't be buying them at all.  I do, now and then, take a trip to this nifty little place called T.J. Maxx Home Goods. Heard of it?

(Sheesh, stop jumping up and down, okay, you've heard of it...)

I could easily drop over $10,000 there on bathmats, floral file folders and Yankee Candles--which are 1/4 the price--but some of the scents are a little...off.  It made me think of what possibly the worst selling Yankee Candle scents have been. You know, like the "New Coke" of Yankee Candle scents.   For today's Friday Five, here are my guesses.

1.) Microwaved Broccoli: America's favorite vegetable zapped of all its nutrients and permeating your entire house--every room, closet and media niche--for days.  

Ycsale  2.) Your Brother's Room Growing Up: Harkening back to the days when your brother played football and your mom worked full-time, Your Brother's Room will leave you breathless. 

3.) Wet Dog: Undeniably K-9.

4.) Motel Room A/C: The distinct scent you used to only be able to get when entering a cheap motel room mid-summer right after a smoker has checked out, now in a Yankee Candle. 

5.) Desperation: Exclusive to Yankee Candle, now the smell of desperation isn't limited only to OC home sellers, reality show pitch meetings, and plastic surgeons' waiting rooms.  Light a candle and have yourself a good cry.  

Why they never made it is pretty clear.

 More Friday Fives?  Here ya go...

Five of the most troublesome crowd-walkers.

Five men who have my permission to wear tank tops.

Disclosure: Bloggers are often provided with free products, services and "experiences" from companies for the purpose of testing and reviewing them in a blog post. Any product mentioned in the blog posts of ocfamily.com may have been offered at no cost to the blogger.

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